We at CER have a thing for mood music, whether it’s getting busy to everyone’s favorite Taiwanese balladeer, relaxing to a little bit of Sergio Mendes’ soothing bossa nova or evading the authorities while listening to “Bad Boys.” This week we busted out some slow jams – a little Marvin Gay and some of Purple Rain when the mood takes us – to set the right tone as China gets all that economic data off its chest. All week China’s dump of data has alternated between slowing rhythms – lending fell short in August – and jamming swells – exports and money supply beat expectations. The trend continued Tuesday with more measured liquidity injections but a surging renminbi. The week culminated Thursday with the news that China’s GDP growth fell to 7.4%, music to economist ears as it matched expectations, while retail sales, FAI and industrial production all had as much pickup as a Fender Stratocastor. But all these statistical ups and downs are getting to be too much, even Wen Jiabao is thinking its time for an end to the slowdown. We hear that he’s been wandering the halls of Zhongnanhai singing Luther Vandross to help China try to get its economic mojo back. Play us out Big Daddy Wen with your favorite! “Don’t you remember I told you I loved [growth] baby…Baby, baby, baby, oh baby…”
US presidential candidates get China crazy
China’s trade cheating has taken center stage in the US presidential election, and the candidates have recently boosted their threats of reprisals for Sino trickery. US President Barack Obama said that if he were reelected he would immediately put tariffs on the Chinese imports that mattered most: soy sauce, pot stickers and those cool little boxes that Chinese takeaway comes in. Republican candidate Mitt Romney said, if elected, on his first day in office that he would move all of his China investments – despite their high returns – to North Korea or Iran, where people played by strict ideological or religious rules and consequences for cheating really meant something. Romney also said his investment in Uniview Technologies, a Chinese company that makes surveillance equipment, paled in comparison to his stakes in Huawei and ZTE, two other promising telecom device makers. To the claim that Japan had recently surpassed China as the world’s biggest holder of US debt, Obama rolled his eyes: “What is this this? The 80s?” Voters agreed that Japan was boring. Although China’s feelings are easily hurt, the country has looked on with pleasure as the world’s biggest economy spins its wheels on superficial debate. While the capitalist roaders were busy playing democracy, China was preparing its November power transfer. “We’ll show them how it’s done,” one high ranking official said.